American Morning

Tune in at 6am Eastern for all the news you need to start your day.
April 7th, 2009
10:17 AM ET

Commentary: Muslim world "likes" Obama's words

CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Hisham Melhem of Al-Arabiya about President Obama's message to Muslims.
CNN's Kiran Chetry speaks to Hisham Melhem of Al-Arabiya about President Obama's message to Muslims.

President Obama was in Turkey today. It was the last leg of his five-nation European tour and his first trip to a Muslim country since taking office. During the stop he sent a message to the world that the U.S. will never be at war with Islam.

“I am personally committed to a new chapter of American engagement. We can't afford to talk past one another, to focus only on our differences or to let the walls of mistrust go up around us.”

So how is the Muslim community reacting to the president’s visit? Hisham Melhem, Washington Bureau Chief for global Arab language network Al-Arabiya, spoke to Kiran Chetry Tuesday on CNN’s “American Morning.”

Kiran Chetry: In all, how was our president received in the muslim world?

Hisham Melhem: Well, judging by the positive headlines, by the live coverage that my network and others gave his speech yesterday in front of the Turkish parliament, the Muslim world likes what the president has been saying. Not only in Turkey, but since he was elected. And I think his words and, more importantly, his actions, have resonated positively throughout the Arab world and the Muslim world. People realize that there is a new tone, that there is a new content, that there is a new language. Gone are the combustible words that President Bush used to use like Islamo [sic] Fascism. Now the new president talks about engagement, he talks about partnership, he talks about respect, mutual interests. President Bush seemed to many Arabs and Muslims every time he talks to them as if he is talking down to them, as if he is lecturing them. This new president is trying to engage them as potential partners in the fight against the real enemy of the United States and the real enemy of these governments which is al Qaeda. The president doesn't talk about the war on terror in general because the war on terror is a war on a tactic. He has a well-defined enemy called al Qaeda. He doesn't clump like, President Bush, all Islamic groups. He focuses only on al Qaeda. All of these things, they are nuances and people recognizes nuances and they appreciate that.

Chetry: I want to ask you about that, because there are some who criticized exactly what you are saying is a good thing, saying he gave a pass perhaps to groups like Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups that have used terror and are considered terrorist groups by our government.

Melhem: Look. President Bush, the way he framed the issue, the war on terrorism created a conceptual muddle and he confused a lot of people. When you fight an enemy, you have to define your enemy very well and President Obama is trying to do that. It doesn't do any service to the United States’ effort to defeat al Qaeda, to keep al Qaeda in a defensive posture, when you lump together all of these groups. Yes, it is true, the United States labels Hamas as a terrorist group and Hezbollah and others, but the United States is not engaging in the battlefields against Hamas. We are engaging al Qaeda on the battlefield in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. And if you want to succeed, you need Muslim allies and one way of doing that is to define your enemy very well. The United States essentially is not saying Hamas is our enemy. The United States is essentially saying what the Israeli government is saying, we will talk to Hamas if Hamas do A, B, C. It's a conditional position vis-à-vis Hamas. There is room for the United States to say we don't like Hamas and that is America's right. At the same time, you cannot classify Hamas the way you classify al Qaeda. It's al Qaeda that visited us with their destructive deed on that fine morning in September 2001. Not Hamas. As much as we don't like Hamas as a group that is pursuing certain policies that is not to the liking of the United States government.

Chetry: It appears there is still a major distrust from Americans here in the United States. This is the quote on the poll. Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies as much as other allies? The results, surprisingly, were pretty split. 51% saying yes, but nearly half saying no. Why does there seem to still be this mistrust on the part of the American people? What can be done to change that?

Melhem: Well, education, engagement, accepting the Muslim world as not necessarily this strange other but a potential partner. I was not very surprised because of the impact and the legacy of 9/11, the misunderstanding generated by the war on terrorism, the invasion of Iraq, Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, all of these things that created enmity in the Arab world and Muslim world and misunderstanding in the United States. There is unfamiliarity in America with the Muslim world and there is ignorance. Let's be blunt. I don't expect the average American to be an expert on Islamic jurisprudence but at least one would like to get through those negative images instead of typical images of Muslims. And here I must add there is a role for the Muslim world. I mean, now the president could look at Muslim leaders in the eye and say, I've done certain things that you wanted me to do, closing down Guantanamo, I’m getting out of Iraq. I sent a positive message to the Iranian people. I'm sending George Mitchell to mediate Arab-Israeli peacemaking but I want you to deal with the problem that afflicts your society. Which is essentially a problem of governance of which you as Muslim leaders and Muslim elites and Muslim ruling classes are responsible for. So there is a role here for the United States to be blunt and honest with the Muslim leaders and Muslim world, as well as a responsibility for the Muslim leaders and Muslim elites to fix the ailments that afflict their societies.


Filed under: Islam • Politics
soundoff (526 Responses)
  1. Mike

    MattyB – I'm an atheist and I support the war against all terror groups. This includes Hamas Hezbollah, Al-Qaeda etc. etc.. If Islam doesn't change these two edicts which basically state (not sure of exact wording) that 'you cannot decide not to be Muslim on pain of death' and that 'religion is a group decision' , then eventually Islam itself should come under attack.

    By the way Mohammad started Jihad way before there was ever any Crusade.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm |
  2. Tizzle

    I would like to see the poll that Hisham Melhem is reffering to in his comment. Secondly, what "actions" has Obama done? Iran's fist remains "clenched." When has appeasing our enemies done any good. What is wrong with calling a spade a spade? Political correctness is going to get us all killed. We can't call a Hamas leader an "Islamo-Fascist" as he chants death to Isreal and America in the streets while strapping a bomb on a 15 year old girl for a suicide mission for fear that we are going to offend a Muslim in Instanbul? Wake up America! Well most of us are at work while Kiran Chetry spouts gobbily-gook nonsense on the TV anyhow. But I guess 52% of the populus watches.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  3. MG

    I have this feeling that our(read world's) love affair with Mr. Obama will be there for long, and we will thank American people for choosing him to be the president. It is such a positive change.

    God bless !

    April 7, 2009 at 2:58 pm |
  4. Harry

    Is Obama doing the right thing trying to bridge the gap with the Muslim world? It depends on your viewpoint.

    If you believe muslims are inherently evil and the US should exterminate them, then probably not.

    If you're a true Christian and believe we are truly ALL brothers and sisters in God, then Obama is doing the right thing.

    Which is it going to be, moderates Christians and moderate Muslims working together to eradicate fundamentalism, or Muslim radicals and Christian radicals trying to kill each other?

    It all depends on how strongly you believe in Jesus and his teachings.

    If you truly believe in God you should support any effort to extend a hand to former adversaries and try to make peace. If you KINDA believe in God, then go ahead and support continued war.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:57 pm |
  5. Duston

    Who cares if they like us or approve of what our president says. If they dont like, they can eat our nuclear tread.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:56 pm |
  6. Chris Henson

    To SF: Ever read the Old Testament? Christians spilled a lot of non-Christian blood over it. And what finally stopped the killing of the Crusades, Inquisition, witch burnings, etc., etc., etc.?

    One word: reason.

    The first step towards disarming any ideological enemy is through the use of reason, not force. If you would have us at war with Islam because you believe their bible compels them to kill you, then you are no better than the most extreme of them. You lack reason, common sense, humanity and most of all faith.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  7. donnilee

    Birds of a feather??????? Ignorance like that is so distressing. Obama has repeatedly said that he is a Christian. However, his father was not, his family is eclectic in their beliefs, just like mine. When will people stop lumping everyone into groups and slapping a label on them? That's easy, that evades responsibility, that's ignorant.

    I'm very impressed with Obama; not only with his ability to speak in complete sentences, but his ability to clearly make distinctions between Islamic peoples and terror organizations like al Queda, which are, btw (are you listening 'birds of a feather' guy) a VERY SMALL minority in the muslim world.

    We have our radical groups too. Anybody remember the Michigan Militia, anybody remember the KKK, (still both alive and kicking, by the way).

    Would you like our entire nation to be judged on the actions of the Michigan Militia, or the KKK, or other such demented organizations with paranoid agendas? That live their lives by fear and hate? I don't.

    And likewise, we should be educated enough, adult enough, and nuanced enough, to make those same distinctions in other nations. If we don't take the time to do so, then we are just as bad as every other group that rules out of fear, ignorance and intolerance.

    Time to wake up America. There is a HUGE Muslim population in this country, just like their is a HUGE Christian, and huge Jewish population, and so on – we are melting pot of many religions, many ethnic groups, and we are a global economy and global world. The quicker we learn to get along with the rest of the world and find common ground, the sooner we can create a world that our children will find peaceful to live in.

    Instead of finger wagging and name calling ... how about we all educate ourselves about the issues at hand before we make ignorant statements, or think because we're nice to people, that's going to provoke an attack. A Muslim nation did not attack us, al Queda did.
    Try to make the distinction, so we stop looking like a nation of ignorant fools.

    In the words of Bush, stop "misunderestimating" our neighbors.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  8. Robert H.

    I am all for starting new with the Muslim world. Hate and discontent will never enable this world to live as one. Now we need some action by the Muslim world to show that they are also willing to change. All too often the Muslims mention Abu Ghraib or the atrocities that the US has committed on the Muslim population. Where were the Muslims when the radicals were cutting of Daniel Perils head or any other head of a person because they disagree with their beliefs? I still remember the jerks dancing in the streets in celebration when the towers fell. Not one Muslim leader has ever raised their voice in protest for that atrocity. Cooperation is a two way street and I for one will be skeptical until the leaders of the Muslims world reject the radicals and stand up for what is far and just. It all starts with FREEDOM of religion and they need to stop calling me an infidel just because I am a Christian.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  9. Gary T.

    Bravo President Obama!
    There so many Good things the U.S. President has said & committed America to on this trip. But just speaking to & about the Muslim world with respect, courtesy, hope & an interest in listening is an amazing difference.
    It is well deserved & Long Overdue!
    We all have more in common than we have differences!
    It is amazing how much Christianity & Islam are alike!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  10. Samuel

    SF

    where are you getting yours sources from? From the actual Quran or from some website that fabricated the teachings?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  11. Larry of Massachusetts

    OK, Obama gets and"A-" or a "B+" for his words and his tone. What he does not get is a good grade on results – In Iraq, In Afghanistan, In Iran, In Gaza, In Syria, In Israel. He largely gets an "Incomplete" in results as we have yet to see any tangible "results". Yes, it is very early in his administration, but let us not annoint someone for success when the real work of diplomacy is yet to start,

    Now for grades on the tangibles on his trip.

    On selling his stimulus plan concept to Europe, he gets a "D". The
    G-20 did not buy into it.

    On getting military combat troop support from NATO for Afghanistan, he gets an "F" NATO turned him down cold.

    On his reaction to the ballistic missle test by North Korea, he gets an "F". The UN has not even acknowledged the incident, and Obama devoted just a small portion of his speech in Turkey to it.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  12. Will

    The truth is universally recognized when it is heard. And the truth coming from Obama's mouth is resonating in people's hearts as just. In retrospect, what happened with Bush was unfortunate because it was a poorly thought out knee-jerk reaction to 911. A real recipe for disaster.

    What Obama is doing now is make all that dysfunction conscious and restore some sense of reason to help alleviate the resentment that has built up and continues to linger between the US and islamic world. I am so thankful Obama is now the present. How or who else would have been able to speak from core values such as humility, honesty, intedrity, and fairness? These are traits of strength not weakness because they bring people together instead of dividing them.

    If this guy can do what he has done in just 3 months, imagine what it will be like in 4 years or God willing in 8 years.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  13. Mike

    I agree in pinpointing the enemy, but Koran states only Islam all others are Infidels nothing but Islam is allowed where is the compromise in that?

    I don't believe we are at war with Islam, but what are the long term views and goals of this religion.

    I know Catholics believe that Hell awaits any who don't believe, but nothing about destroying others that don't believe.

    So where does this leave us?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  14. Julie Los Angeles, California

    I am amazed and ashamed that Lee could make such an ignorant remark as below. He probably thinks that the world is flat and that there was no Holocaust also. Beside that, I will say that Obama is reaching out to try to mend fences which hasn't been done since Clinton. Bush has been arrogant and angry in his dealings with Muslims and it is a breath of fresh air to have a leader who can see farther than the next oil well.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  15. Lori

    For those who say Obama is "one of them" meaning Muslims, you're morons. Obama is a Christian. He just happens to be brilliantly intelligent and understands the art of negotiation as well as the world around him. For those of you who don't know, Barack is a Biblical name, a fierce warrior who fought against the Philistines. So his name is just as much Christian as Islam in origin. Just as his mother and father were Christian and Muslim, respectively.

    Obama is the perfect individual to heal the worldwide wounds caused by the Bush administration. As for myself, I have never been so proud of a President. I absolutely beam when I listen to him. I truly believe this man was born to lead our country at this particular point in history. Try supporting our new President instead of condeming him on false pretenses.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  16. JD

    It's Clinton: The sequel. Turn our back on rising threats against us in the Islamic World. Be naive. Ignorance is bliss, after all. Is Saudi Arabia really our friend? Perhaps B.O. should meet with Hamas Leaders and have a hand-shaking photo-op at the White House. That will make everything better...right?

    Make no mistake about it...if Islamo-facists had access to a nuclear bomb...New York City would be a smoldering pile of debris. But, we're not at war with these "peace-loving" people are we.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  17. deejay

    It is sad that there are posters that don't see that when he said "fine morning", he was being sarcastic. It's really where most americans hang their hat of distrust for the Islamic and Muslim community. It's also a great thing that eveyone doesn't like President Obvama. If everyone liked him it would be more cause for concern. There are things he has said or decisions made that I don't agree with but for the most part I am happy that he is representing us as our President. He is doing it with class, dignity and as a STATESMAN. Him being respected worldwide is critical. To some of you, how the world outside our borders see us doesn't matter but it so does. Try travelling internationally and people knowing you are american and the treatment you get. Ask others why they would hide the fact that they were americans while they were out of the country and now it's okay to be an American outside our borders. We can not be an island unto ourselves. When we feel like we don't need anybody because we're all that, failure is sure.

    Check your history, treaties, allies and world relations have been critical to our success and existence. Don't get it twisted, we need people that aren't like us to work with us. That's part of the problem with this country, because you're different you aren't worth talking to and I'm better than you. Even coporations understand the value of TEAMWORK. Get a job and buck the team, you will be out of a job.

    The fact that you don't have to be identified, it's okay to spew out the hatred in your hearts because political correctness is not necessary. Trust when I tell you, how you really feel will be known by whomever you are hiding it from. For those of you that don't mind everyone knowing your hatred, it will come back to visit you on the back side and oh what a harvest it will be.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  18. Marco

    "If there is no enemy and all Muslims are as gentle as Jews, Christians, and Buddists then why are we in Iraq?"

    Who *EVER* said "all Muslims are gentle..."?

    I don see a single post here on a comment anywhere in Obama's speech saying this.

    Your tone, if not your words however, lead one to believe that you feel the exact opposite about ALL Muslims.

    And that is as rediculous as Bin Laden labeling all Christians as anti-Muslim or "Crusaders"

    April 7, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  19. Ned

    Guess what Bushies, Islam isn't going away, no matter what A-Team fantasies you want to believe. The Bible is loaded with xenophobic passages, just like the Koran. Peace, which is the ultimate goal of Christianity, is unattainable without diplomacy. Those of you that think that the USA can just go out and dominate the world need to take a look at the fiascos in Korea, Vietnam, and now Iraq. Extremism is just facism. The NAZIS WERE CHRISTIANS! That doesn't make every Christian a nazi. If you like, GO JOIN YOUR LITTLE BUDDIES BUSH AND CHENEY IN THEIR UNDERGROUND BUNKER, AND LET THE REAL AMERICANS CLEAN UP THIS MESS.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:50 pm |
  20. Peace is around the corner

    Just a thought, doesn't it make sense to visit Arab nations and maintain peace? Unlike the bomb and torture policies of Bush, it seems that our president has accomplished a lot by reaching out to the Muslim community. If what he is doing is building an alliance with more nations, then why are people scolding him? Why not reach out and come to peaceful solutions so our troops don't have to fight anymore. For those that want war, you strap a helmet on and a grab a rifle and fight all you want. All I am saying is focus on the real issue, terrorists, and not just an entire group of people. The last thing we need is America killing the wrong people again......

    April 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  21. Shafiur

    SF, try to put the sentences you derived from Quran in to context. Its not appropriate to take out few sentences from here and there and post it. Read it from start to finish and you would feel good.
    Don't be a hate-monger who just spreads hatred no matter what the situation is. People/Muslims are trying to reconcile in to a modern community with mutaul respect shown towards them and you are going backwards with all the B.S.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  22. Rock

    Franklin – is that what you really believe Christianity is about? Yeah early Christianity was violent – it was a persecuted religion. Don't confuse nation-building with Christianity. It's become so typical to say things like "oh well Christianity is violent, look at the crusades!" The original purpose of what became the Crusades was because the Christian east called for aid. What do you think about the Muslims who swept West and killed Christians in the Balkans or in Spain? What about the Armenian genocide or the Turkish occupation of Greece? What the Crusades it turned into was a social movement of the disenfranchised (ie 3rd, 4th, 5th born sons) to be able to do some fortune seeking. Look at the 4th crusade – Christians from the West attacking Christians of the East. Very sad. Just because a war is based on religion does that denigrate the value and core of what that religion stands for? If you really think the crusades were 'true" Christianity then you are dearly mistaken. In the end, no one is perfect or blameless. If we believe in love and goodness let's try to live it. That's what Christ wanted, us to love one another, especially our enemies – yes we all fall incredibly short. We need to be vigilant against hypocrisy in all its forms.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  23. Mo

    To SF: Again you take verses out of cotext for your own intreperation. Please visit your local mosque. They won't bite and take those verses to someone who can give a correct intrepretation of them like a IMAM.

    Well why not bring up Christian extremist in our own country?? Remember DAVID KORESH??? Supposed Final prophet??

    I am not sure how much more Muslims in America have to say over and over again that we reject violance of any kind by any religion including ours over and over. If its not getting through to you then God help you.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  24. RICK

    Where to start, well, why is it that no other country wants to take Gitmo prisoners. Its not because they do not have prisons, they do not want the stigma and potential unrest caused by the Muslims in their countries. And if you look at all of the Arabic countries that prisoners have been sent back to they just release them and they go back to being terrorists. Next the fawining over Obama, gives a good speech. And if and when there is another attack, Obama, Biden and the left will be blaming Bush, but gee, I do not recall any further attacks on us here since 9/11, wonder why, remember, those that throw stones at glass houses...

    April 7, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  25. Chris Henson

    A lot of folks have complained here that Obama's words were aimed at moderate Muslims and therefore miss the mark. Fact is, most extremists are moderates who have been pushed to an extremist mindset through ignorance, fanaticism and the hatred of a mutual enemy. By connecting with as many moderate Muslims as he can, and re-enforcing the fact that we are not at war with Islam, Obama has ensured that a great many moderates will be less likely to turn extremist.

    Look at what our war in Iraq has done. It is a fact that our occupation of Iraq has been used by extremists to recruit many, many moderates. And our previous administration did nothing to stop it. By standing on the soil of an Islamic nation and stating that we are not at war with Islam, Obama has taken a lot of wind out of the extremists' sails.

    Funny thing is, it appears that only our own American extremist conservatives seem to have a problem with this.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  26. Chris

    This comment is for Mike, that said "Thanks to Bush, Iraq has democracy." My question is "When did Iraq ask us to intervene and force our western ideology of democracy on them?" If we like to spread democracy so much, why haven't we intervened in the Darfur region of the Sudan or other places in the world under an oppressive regime?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  27. bsheisty

    Nothing will change until the moderate Muslims stand up against the radical factions within Islam.

    I'd even be satisfied if any moderate Muslim simply said " Hey, we don't agree with Hamas, Al Qaeda, etc. Its wrong to kill civilians"

    Until then, its all just meaningless words.

    oh and "Sohel", saying that the percentage of Americans that trust Muslim allies would dramatically rise if the Jews were not allowed to vote.....? I hope you were joking.

    Do you happen to wear a lot of green?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  28. mohamed

    BY THE WAY.

    MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD IS A DEMOCRATIC ORGANIZATION

    AGAINST IT'S TYRANT GOVERNMENT.

    JUST DO YOUR READING.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  29. Nero

    Those who don't like what the President is doing that has changed the negative to positive, should form a new party. I suggest you call that party "Neocons"; that will clearly identify their cause as was written in their doctrine many years ago.

    Most people of sound mind has seen a positive change in the direction this country has taken over the past eleven weeks.

    As the saying goes; if you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:45 pm |
  30. SF

    MattyB

    I am unimpressed with your "look over here" (the crusades) and "look over there" (christians converting people of other faiths) arguments.

    First of all, if you knew anything about the crusades, and I'm not suprised that you don't, you would know that the west was being swallowed up by force by islam. The crusades were attempts by Christians to maintain their values and all those other things that come with the love of ones own culture. This is the abridged version, if you want we can get into detail.

    As far as Christians converting others, who freaking cares. The difference is that we don't foce people to convert, we don't make it difficult for others to practice their religions, we don't kill those that don't convert, we don't tell fellow Christians that if a fellow Christian converts to Islam, to kill him or her as the case maybe. These are all the things taught by the Quran and the hadiths. Did you know this?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  31. Marco

    "There are at least nine places in the Qur’an where believers are warned not to befriend non-Muslims"

    And yet, we Christians have the history of the Spanish Inquisition, and there are no such words in The Bible.

    It is never the faith, ...it is the interpitation or way a faith is practiced that is objectionable.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  32. Jennifer

    I don't like Obama, I didn't vote for him, and I think he is putting us at risk. As a Christian, I feel my rights are being violated and stripped every time that man opens his mouth. If he was a Christian like he says, his actions would reflect this... While Christians should reflect tolerance we should NOT make happy with the countries we are at war with... I know not all Muslims are bad but I don't agree with their religion just like they don't agree with mine.. no happy love love there.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  33. John

    When will we see coverage of Obama bowing to the Saudi King?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  34. sweethooth

    I never thought I'd be saying this but for the last 7 days President has been way off Mark. His tour had little to do with pursuing goals, but much on mending fences. But much like at home, he knows little and mending them because he’s obviously has never built one.
    The U.S. has spent trillions leaning forward to do what the U.N. would not do and Arabs cousins would not. And just because every effort did not meet the social specifications of hand wringers and pacifist he see’s reason to apologize? The Arab nations have had trade routes to Africa for hundreds (some say thousands) of years yet where were they during the seasons of Genocide? When has the Muslims nation lead the world in anything? How can you possess an overabundance of one of the most precious resources the world needs and have so little interest in pursuing the most vicious in your midst?
    The reason Bush was seen an evil man is because he was (believe it or not) acting like a true Muslim. Can you imagine a Muslim male waiting for a consensus on what to do about someone who has attacked his home? Or suffer the indecisive pangs of weak political support from those who say (we’re with you all the way)? The Muslins community is eerily Patriarchal and has long enjoyed an America that was anything but. As for the Islamic world, it did not understand the attractiveness of Bin ladin, during the receding influence of Russia and the U.S.

    All in all, maladaptive is not a word I would chose to describe the culture of Islam but it is very close. And President Obama is giving the Muslim world a break when they need to be held to a higher standard.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  35. seer

    These comments always make me feel so proud to be an American! Uninformed Bigotry, GO!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  36. KP

    I wish people would educate themselves before posting and showing off their lack if intelligence on the matter at hand. President Obama is NOT MUSLIM. It's the stereotyping and bigotry against an entire religion for the acts of some extremists that cause all of these problems. Reading some of these posts, are like listening to Archie Bunker.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  37. ireadthis

    Da Professor April 7th, 2009 1:35 pm ET

    No surprises here. The right-wing extremists are still whining about the last election, kissing the feet of Bush – Cheney, spending way too much time listening to the FOX Channel and their merry band of liars, and spouting out with their false accusations about Obama as a Muslim. What fools! Perhaps these extremists idiots will soon be goose stepping in a parade down main street?
    ---------
    They will only be doing that to blend into the parade of goose-stepping leftists and fascists, since dissent is clearly not going to be tolerated.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  38. Bram

    Mohammed–
    Obama is not half muslim. Everyone, stop with this crap! How is that even possible? The presidents father was from Kenya and he was an athiest. If anything that would make him half athiest. President Obama is a Christian. What president Obama is half of, is black. His ethnic background is not a relevant indicator of his religion here.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  39. jeff

    Muslims love BO! thats fine and dany but lets not forget that binladen also worked with the americans in afghanistan fighting the russians. look what that love affair led to!! Most everyone who has in one or another "loved" us have also been our worst enemies.keep your friends close and your enemies even closer

    April 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  40. go cheryl go

    Obama is The Midas Man of this time... wouldn't you agree.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:41 pm |
  41. Keith

    Fred Robinson said:

    All that happens from this point on will be far better than what has ocurred in the past. The previous administration did so much damage to America’s image overseas. It will take two terms of positive actions to wipe out the last gang of idiots.

    Do you guys have donuts with your coffee?

    Fred
    """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""`
    Really Fred?

    So I'm guessing that the WTC, Pentagon and the White House were attacked on 9/11 because of Bush? I guess the Khobar Towers, the USS Cole and the American Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were attached because of Bush? I'm guessing then too that the US Embassy in Iran was overrun and our citizens were held hostage for 444 days because of Bush?

    Please. Stop with your Pavlovian need to lay the blame at Bush and realize the fact the both Europe and the Middle East have hated the US for far longer than Bush's 8 years.

    One major aspect of our culture that confuses Europe is how we are able to have so many from divergent ethnic groups moving in the same direction. The European Union hasn't been able to achieve that as of yet but we have.

    Look past the rhetoric Fred. You'd be surprised what you can learn.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  42. Tampa Pete

    Excellent overseas trip by president Obama.

    Now, this is what statesmanship is all about.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm |
  43. VLUVU

    A basic lesson on statistics: There are about 50,000 muslim terrorists (a legitimate or even a little overblown estimate).
    There are 1.5 BILLION muslims in the world.
    50,000/1,500,000,000=.00003 times100=.003% of muslims are terrorists.
    Labeling a whole religious sect as the enemy of a nation based on the ideologies and actions of .003% of that group seems unfair and rather stupid to be honest.
    There are about 3-6 Million Muslims in US itself living peacefully with their neighbors and doing many of the same things that other Americans do incuding paying taxes, getting involved in community organizations, doing jobs in the government itself, and etc. I can't believe there are people hear who blame the whole islamic world for the actions of few who, from a religious standpoint, have misinterpreted the wording of the holy koran. It's like saying that all Christians are Racists based on the activities of KKK. I don't contempt my christian or jewish or hindu neighbor thinking that they are going to burn down my house anytime, because of what happened in history or recent events. I laud the efforts of Obama to distinguish between Terrorists and other Muslims.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  44. Marco

    "Well I just feel all warm and fuzzy knowing that muslims like obama’s words. Birds of a feather…………….."

    Just silly.

    I don't see, with the tone this post was made, why this would make any sense, being that president Obama is a protestant, the largest Christian denomination in the U.S.

    And no, just because his middle name is Hussain, does NOT mean he is a Muslim (and not that it should matter any way) or an Arab,...80% of the Arabs in the U.S are Christians anyway.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  45. Jeremy

    Wow, comments like the ones from dimslie, Lee, and sohel are exactly the type of ignorance and hate that we have to put a stop too.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  46. AnnieinPortland

    It is about Time!!!

    We can no longer continue to hate, hate, hate in the Name of God.

    You cannot teach children to respect one another, if governments
    do not.

    Our Children are the next generation. We need to lead by example.

    Our President is on the right track.

    The time for a peaceful resolution to all global issues is now.
    we have to work together to solve major issues, including
    the current Economic fiasco, left over from the last administration.

    So, for all that has developed to date, I feel much safer in the world
    at large, then I ever did under the "War on Terrorism Mantra".

    I hope in time our people will come to understand each other
    as human beings, not as religious enities.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  47. ash

    Wow, I don't know what disturbs me more. The ignorance of some of you people. Or the fact that you are probably breeding and passing that ignorance on. There is nothing wrong with bridging the gap and forming an understanding between nations. Putting religion aside to form a common peace and to attack a common foe. WAKE UP!!!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  48. Maryam

    Sohel, your statement:

    "Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies as much as other allies?

    –> 51% yes and 49% No

    If you remove the jews vote then it will be 98% Yes and 2% No"

    would make it seem like Jews dominate the U.S. While there are probably twice the number of Jews as there are Muslims, the vast majority of the population are of some Christian faith i.e. Protestant, Catholic, Baptist, etc. Additionally, there are probably 10 agnostics, atheists, etc for every Jew. Your math only shows your distorted perspective.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  49. Markus - Long Beach, CA

    "Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer".

    April 7, 2009 at 2:37 pm |
  50. JMS

    BrianG in Sugarland, TX

    You are taking the very definition of "Islam" out of context to justify your poor vision of the world around you. More power to you but to clarify, the term "surrender" in this case, refers to surrendering to a higher power. It's very simple. Not difficult to comprehend. again, comments like these are symptoms of how uneducated the general American population is, as was pointed out in this article.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  51. B, NH

    It is hard for some people to accept that not everyone cares about their position. People die, and to some this is a tragedy of unspeakable measure. They expect all to be equally shocked, but we're not. If muslims do not feel like taking a stand against terrorism, who cares?

    Some equate this indifference with 'supporting terrorism' or 'not loving the USA'.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  52. Kathy

    No one ever doubted that the Muslims liked Obama! But I believe he
    is rocking the American people to sleep and patting the Muslim nations on the back while they are snickering behind his back. They will catch
    America unprepared and wreck havoc on our nation again. They hate America and everything it stands for and will not stop until it is destroyed.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  53. chuck

    Are all you people really this stupid? How soon we forget who attacked us and dare I ask what was it that we were doing as a country to provoke the 911 attacks? They had 8 years under Bill Clinton to plan this, now we have 4 years of Obama for them to plan their next attack.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  54. Igiri-oke, Chicago

    Here is the truth, the internal conflict between Moderate and Radical Muslims is very intense than how Americans view them combined. The aim of the radicals is to fast-track the revival of Islam thru any means available and then deal or kill with the Moderates first before aiming to conquer the world.
    Any honest Muslim that understands the Holly Quran will tell you that Islam is absolutely about submission with no objection. You either agree with the teachings or be killed. Those who call themselves Moderate Muslims are pandering away from the fundamentals of Islam probably because of their ability to decode what freedom and liberty means – a product of civilization and democracy. This is the reason they will never confront the radicals hence President was talking to those who do not have guts to act. How do you fight the radicals who have the guts to kill themselves and every one?

    My conclusion is this: there will never be a day when radical Muslims will accept Western culture because to do so means that the Holy Quran is wrong. Are they ready to say that?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  55. Keith

    I think the US would be willing to trust our "Middle Eastern" allies such as the Saudis if it weren't for the detestable fact that so many of their petroleum funded dollars are finding their ways into the coffers of organizations such as al Qaeda.

    How can we trust an "ally" when they are sending material assets to our supposed joint enemy?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  56. Andrew

    Kiran Chetry needs to get her facts straight before discussing Islamist groups. Grouping Hizbollah, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, and others into the same category and then saying that the US considers all of them terrorist groups is ridiculous.

    Officials of Congress have met with the Muslim Brotherhood, and they are not considered a terrorist group. Chetry's comments simply demonstrates her lack of understanding of the complexities of the region.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:34 pm |
  57. SF

    To Mah and Maria

    "Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued." (9:29 Jizya is the money that non-Muslims must pay to their Muslim overlords in a pure Islamic state.)

    Those who reject (Truth), among the People of the Book and among the Polytheists, will be in Hell-Fire, to dwell therein (for aye). They are the worst of creatures. (98:6)

    Surely the vilest of animals in Allah's sight are those who disbelieve, then they would not believe. (8:55)

    Thou wilt not find any people who believe in Allah and the Last Day, loving those who resist Allah and His Messenger, even though they were their fathers or their sons, or their brothers, or their kindred. (58:22)

    There are at least nine places in the Qur’an where believers are warned not to befriend non-Muslims:

    O ye who believe! Take not for friends unbelievers rather than believers: Do ye wish to offer Allah an open proof against yourselves? (4:144)

    WHERE DO YOU THINK THESE LOVELY VERSES COME FROM??? And purposefully I stayed away from the "if you see a jew, kill him" verses. So lets just say, your look here, look over there areguments are not working

    April 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  58. Franklin

    Christiniaty in its early form was brutal and even by the 16-17th century, Catholics advocated burning and beheadings of heretics. You were either were a Catholic or a heretic. Plus the countless wars based on religion including the Crusades. No doubt that extremism still exists in Christianity but the reside in the outer fringes of the core. Islam, by contrast have many factions practicing extremism closer to the the center of the core. Does that mean Islam is bad and Christianity is good ? No ! Like a mountain that was previously a volcano, it takes many trials and tribulations for a religion to evolve and moderate and "cool" down. What we are seeing is some of these moderations in Islam and we should reach out moderate to moderates and get the extremists to the core faster. What has happened in Islam is that the moderate are having a hard time pushing these extremists to the fringes when any alignment with the West is seen as appeashment and cowardice to the relagion of Islam. Yes, Islamic moderates leaders must rise and lead (btw, they have before – Sadat) and the West must work as trusting and fair partners..

    April 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm |
  59. Robert W

    I think Obama is doing a good job for the pickle he is in. The ancient way to deal with other people who want to kill you because of your religious beliefs was to destroy them. But because we will not take such a measure we have no choice but to talk to them.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  60. Anais

    Peter, the Muslims know who the terrorists are too, not to worry. The ridiculous stupidity is believing that Obama's popularity with Muslim moderates will have the slightest effect on the extremists. If you think that's so, I suggest it's time to come home from the fair.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:32 pm |
  61. frank

    Bush said the same thing!!!!!
    but from a position of strength....not the weakness and arrogance of Obama
    "let me state this as clearly as i can".........yep he is another Carter
    just a mediocre show

    April 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  62. Zee

    Hi

    I am a muslim and brought up in muslim family environment until I came to north america in my mid 20s. Now I am in my late 30s, so I got both flabour.

    One point I can tell, muslim will surely have some confort with Mr Obama's word but belive me this is not enough. The mistrust already in with both side (muslim and western would) both needs to come together. 1.4 billion muslim' can't be bad. If they would have been bad, you can't live here. Check your neighbourhood or within your collegues, you will find someone who is from muslim would, you just don't know that.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  63. Erin

    I think Obama is doing a great job with the Muslim community. I think that President Bush did this country a disservice when he his words made it appear that America was at war with Islam. Even the title of the war "The War on Terror"- that in itself is an impossible war to win. How on Earth could America go after such a broad enemy? It could never win that war. BUT- like Obama is showing the world, including the Arab allies, is that America is at war with AL QUEADA. Which is what we should have been doing from the get go.
    I would like state that I am a Christian. I respect Islam, I do not believe in it, but I know that we have freedom of Religion. Islam in itself is not a violent terrorist religion, but the Terrorists have twisted it, and used it as such.
    I suppose someone living about 1000 years ago would have said the same about Christianity- I mean the Catholic church was committing or encouraging the slaughter of MILLIONS of "heretics" which we now would call "protestants". Torturing them and burning them at the stake. The Church also killed millions during the crusades. What happened to "love thine enemies", "Thou Shalt Not Murder", and "pray for those persecuting you" ? BUT my point is, CHRISTIANITY itself is not a violent religion, even though in the past people have USED Christianity to support their violence. ANY Religion can be "hi-jacked" and used in a bad way. That is just the sad truth.

    Again I think President Obama is doing a great job in the Muslim/Arab world.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  64. rivirivi

    ALL MUSLIMS ARE NOT STUPID, NOT ALL ARE IGNORANT, NOT ALL HATE THE USA, NOT ALL WANT DEATH FOR EVERYONE, NOT ALL BELIEVE THAT GOD (AS THEY CALL ALLAH) MADE THIS BEAUTIFUL SELF-SUSTAINED WORLD WITH ALL THESE DIFFERENT PEOPLE SO THAT STUPID GROUPS HATE OTHER STUPID GROUPS. ON THE SAME GRAIN, ALL AMERICANS ARE NOT STUPID, NOT ALL ARE IGNORANT, NOT ALL HATE ALL THE MUSLIMS, NOT ALL WANT DEATH FOR EVERYONE, NOT ALL BELIEVE THAT GOD (AS THEY CALL "GOD THE FATHER") MADE THIS BEAUTIFUL SELF-SUSTAINED WORLD WITH ALL THESE DIFFERENT PEOPLE SO THAT STUPID GROUPS HATE OTHER STUPID GROUPS. MOST PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD ARE INTELLIGENT, KIND, LOOK OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER, AND MOST EVERYONE IN THE WORLD WANTS TO LIVE IN PEACE, PROVIDE TO THEIR FAMILIES WITH A HOME AND GOOD FOOD AND EDUCATION. LET'S CONCENTRATE ON OUR MUTUAL INTERESTS, NOT ON OUR DIFFERENCES. OBAMA IS RIGHT.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  65. AH

    SF – I have read about Islam, and I by no means claim to be an expert. We could go back and forth all day about what is said in the Qu'ran as we could also do with the Torah and Bible. They all have in my viewpoint positive and negative aspects and we get to choose how to interpret those. I think there are parts of Islam that are very beautiful as there are in other religions. When you look at history, we have all committed autrocities. Everyhting that is written is in context of what was happening in that time. What I do know, is at the end of the day people want to make sure their families and children are safe.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  66. maddawg

    i have to agree..

    WHO CARES what 'fanatical' religious bigots think about the USA???

    only the typical brain-dead lemmings will care or like this story.

    this is nothing but a desert-fried-brain's concept of religion.

    as for MAH, i will never read such a piece of crap that is the koran.

    ANY book that tells you to hurt others is WRONG!

    any book that tells you to hurt others that don't believe what you believe...well, that's just for iTarded fools.....much like the muslim world.....and all the religious world for that matter!

    get a life....give up your fake man-made gods and get a life!

    life is MUCH more fun and fullfilling when you don't have to guilt and/or fool yourself into believing gods exist.

    gods are for the weak and for those that need a scapegoat for all the bad AND good things that happen in their lives!!!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm |
  67. Moderate Democrat

    @Patrick April 7th, 2009 2:14 pm ET
    -----------------
    How appropriate. A moron advocates "pro life' one sentence after he advocates slaughtering people in war. You kind of people are pretty messed up in the head dude. You're either one or the other, but when you are both, you are simply an idiot that swallows anything put in your mouth.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  68. Andrew

    How are you suppose to "clearly" identify the enemy when they inflitrate the United States, are issued visas, enroll in US flight schools for training and then fly on US airlines in order to crash them into American buildings?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:28 pm |
  69. chuck

    And why wouldn't they like his words? He is a fellow Muslim. They can't get us from the outside, but certainly from inside.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  70. Sana

    Dan, moderate Muslims have taken a stand against extremism. Moderate Muslims do not believe that extremists represent Islam or what it stands for, Islam stands for submission to God, and for Peace. Moderate Muslims do not defend the acts of extremists and cannot, for it goes against their fundamental beliefs. If you look at organizations like CAIR, Council on American Islamic Relations, you can see what moderate Muslims stand for.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  71. m

    "...Al Qaeda hung the bait and George Bush took it and then some..."
    Greg/Chicago.

    I suppose by bait you mean 3000+ killed by fanatical extremists? Should we have just rolled over and played dead? That comment dishonors those that died on September 11 2001just going about their daily lives.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  72. Mar

    @sohel
    You wrote:
    Should the U.S. trust Muslim allies as much as other allies?
    –> 51% yes and 49% No
    If you remove the jews vote then it will be 98% Yes and 2% No.
    ********************************************************************
    That is why decent people may have and have problems with Muslims. Because people like you, sohel, want to remove Jews, and Israel, and non-Muslims, etc. You are the problem, not the solution. When people like you will learn that the world is not all Sharia, but it is plural and complex where everyone has right to exist, other people will stop perceive Muslims as intolerant group.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  73. Char59

    I think it is very sad how Americans talk negatively about their own American President and then they expect other countries to like us. If you have no respect for your own then why would you expect respect from the rest of the world. I am refering to all these negative comments about our great President Barack Obama. The great thing about our President is that he takes all your negative and demeaning remarks in stride and keeps on moving, that is what makes him so great!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  74. Kevin Denver Colorado

    Henri: If there is no enemy and all Muslims are as gentle as Jews, Christians, and Buddists then why are we in Iraq?

    -Well........... you got the Buddhists right, although you misspelled it!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:27 pm |
  75. Samuel

    I think the reason we see so many Obama bashers and Islamophobics bashing this commentary is because they still can't face the fact that the world and the universe doesn't revolve around them.

    Seriously people, as the days changes and the world is moving foward, why do we go backwards and continue embracing bigotry when the Muslim world is started to like Obama, and perhaps opening up to the west? Isn't that what we are fighting in the middle east in the first place? To end hatred towards eachother and other religions?

    Obviously some people around here have too much time on their hands and would rather sign in with a different name, bash the commentary and make invalid opinions, then leaves. Even in the land of the brave, there are plenty of cowards.

    Oh sure, you have the right to be ignorant and intolerable of the world. however, I have the right of being intolerable to the intolerant and the ignorant. Freedom of speech at its fruitation.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  76. Linda

    Why is it that you think moderate Muslims do not speak out against terrorism? I belong to several Muslim groups that do. On 9/11 almost mosque and many muslim communities express outrage. Must we get on loud speakers and go up and down my block to show how upset I am about Muslim extremists. Sorry, but as an American Muslim, I dont feel i have to show any more outrage than my Christian neighbor. Though, i did go to marchs and demonstrations denouncing this abhorant behavior of killing in the name my religion.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  77. Chuck

    "Clark April 7th, 2009 1:58 pm ET

    why do Muslims have a better perception of the US now …. because President Obama is less “West” and less “Christian” …..

    Read the Koran …. the Muslim religion all of them if they are honest will admit that the Koran teaches and demands that Islam must conquer either by education or by the sword the entire world for Allah. And that means that every person on this planet will either die, be a second class citizen or convert to Islam and live under Sharia law."

    Whoa – something crazy in a religious text that doesn't really apply to modern sensibilties??

    What a shock.

    And, you may want to read the Bible sometime. It also contains some interesting "rules and requirements" that would get a modern-day practitioner a life-sentence in today's America.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  78. kt

    for all of those who voted for him,now you will reap what you have sown,and for those of us that didn't,al we can say is " I told you so!!"

    April 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  79. Mohamed

    The trip to Turkey in the frist 100 days of this Presidency is a milestone in the history of the US. It is time that we move forward instead of looking backward and partner with the muslim world who share the values of US and support us in our fight against the extremists and fundamendalists.

    I do agree with the comments made by our President since he took office this year that we need to extend the hands of friendship to the muslim world if they want partnership and can fight the non state or state actors if they want to be USA's enemies.

    We need to be rational about our affairs with the foreign policy and should not be stuck on ideology rather should be pragmatice and realistic to help solve the problems in the muslim world.

    Let's hope and wish that the USA is in good hands both domestically and foreign policy wise. Let's all americans unite instead of being divided by ideology, religion, race and ethnicity and realize our American dream toghether as a people and a civilized society.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  80. Rock

    I don't get why we label this as America reaching out to the Muslim world. Why not America reaching out to the Arab world, the majority of whom have Islam as their religion. What about the Arab Christians? Is Obama not "reaching out" to them as well? We can't please all of the people all of the time.

    Let's be congenial to those who respect America and the great things we've done and crush those who would seek to destroy us. It's really not that complicated – let's not fight stupid wars, but is there a more noble cause than defending our borders? Doesn't matter if they're Muslim, or Buddhist or Confuscianist or Christian (cf Venezuela and its crazy leader).

    April 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  81. PAUL H

    Yes they love it when he tells them how arrogant, and shamful the Uniteds States of America is.
    I'm sure they do like what he say's.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:24 pm |
  82. alex

    I don't think Mr. Melham understands this from an American point of view. He is too biased towards Islamic nations. If Hamas acts like terrorists, looks like terrorists and talks like terrorists, then chances are they are terrorists. It is no wonder Americans don't trust Muslim allies. I certainly don't. I believe it states in the Koran that it is acceptable to lie about your intentions if it means protecting yourself only to do harm later. I'm very wary of trusting anyone, let alone Muslim nations.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  83. inLA

    Oh, and PS – I'm a dyed-in-the-wool old hippie, Bush-hating liberal. And I still say, if y'all don't start understanding what it is Islam really wants, i.e., for you to convert – you'd better start getting used to the loss of your freedom right now.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  84. Patrick

    dolartil...do not go about bashing christianity, while your defending Islam. I think we can all agree that different religions all have their problems, and all make mistakes. "All will fall short of the glory of God". This, however, does not give us the right to do the things we do. God gives us all a choice...which I am amazed by. He does not force us to be a follower of His ways (Which again amazes me) He did so much for us, yet we have turned our back on Him. Everytime his people sin...we are crucifying Him yet again. Yes, some say their christian, but don't act like it. Some say their islam, but don't act like it. Sounds like you were defending the islam religion while bashing the christian religion...if their a what you call christian terrorists...are they really christian at all? Saying and acting are two different things my friend...

    April 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  85. Mike S

    Winston Churchill once said "better Jaw Jaw then War War." Churchill was a FIGHTER, but he understood the value of discussion, negiotiation, and making allies. If we can ENCOURAGE moderate Islam by acknowledging its value and significance, we help to create allies in the war against al Qaeda...we did NOT defeat Hitler or the Soviet Union on our own. What's wrong with trying to make friends and allies in that part of the world where our adversaries are actually based? What's wrong with trying to encourage the Islamic World to understand that the United States does not view them ALL as the enemy? Huh?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  86. USMC2

    @usmc1 April 7th, 2009 1:58 pm ET
    -------------
    And no matter what you say, the rest of us will continue to think people like you are ignorant, uninformed idiots. You lump all muslims in ONE category. By that logic, if you are christian then you must be one of those freakin lunatics that murders prostitutes in the name of Jesus. As a christian myself, I have to recognize the nut cases in my religion. And based on seeing comments like yours, the nut cases in general that are part of the american society.

    If you are a marine, then thank you for serving, but you are one of the few that I am ashamed to have had you in my ranks!

    April 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  87. Jabril

    ADFX....wow. That was the most uninformed, idiotic rant I've ever seen. What has Islam contributed...Well, since history books are just that..HIS-story, let me help you out a little bit. When Europe was in the Dark Ages (you know, the Sun revolves around the Earth kind of thing??) Islam was the (then) World leader in the Sciences (math, medicine, geometry, etc.). Ever heard of Alchemy, Alcohol?? Both Islamic words AND sciences/contributions of science. People flocked from all over the then known World for all the knowledge to be found in Islamic territories (Timbuktu, Egypt, etc). Ummmm...were people flocking to Europe? Quite the opposite...fleeing is more like it (you know...the plague and all). There is nothing of "value" in Europe–no resources–like that oil you so graciously spoke of. Ever hear of any other countries "invading" Europe? No need...nothing there. That's why THEY invaded everyone else!! So, to bash a belief or religion based on the actions of a few (next time...make sure to throw Jim Jones and David Koresh in there–though I highly doubt you even know who they are, judging from your comments–seems like you allow "others" to do your thinking for you) is utterly ignorant. Free your mind...your " you know what" will follow...

    April 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  88. Chris

    Muslims dont understand our problem with them because they dont grasp a concept as simple as the separation of church and state. America has no problem with Islam or muslims, unless they enforce laws based solely on religion. So we object to their laws, and they see that as an attack on their religion. That's the equivalent of American police arresting people for eating meat on Friday. It's ludicrous. Keep religious laws in church and out of the public administration of society.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  89. Chris

    What's up with this little comment?

    "al Qaeda that visited us with their destructive deed on that fine morning in September 2001."

    April 7, 2009 at 2:22 pm |
  90. TexMex

    I have to object to those comments implying that Turkey, a secular but predominantly muslim country, does not take stand against radical extremists.... Turkey has been a target of these extremists since long before 9/11... one of the most recent attacks was:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/3222608.stm

    Turkey is a secular democracy and thus a great threat & a target to radical extremists... please also keep in mind that Turkey is Israel's strongest ally in the region... second strongest after US in the world if you ask me... the Turkish PM might be a hot-headed person as seen in Davos but he is not Turkey... people come and go... countries & their ties stay....

    It is so unfair to claim that Turkey does not stand againt radicals... it simply is not true...

    April 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  91. dolarbil

    SF and those who say the Koran teaches everyone not Muslim is an enemy:

    How do you reconcile Christianity's spread around the world via swords and guns? Like an African leader once said, no one forced Islam on his continent with a gun.

    I am a Christian and I know our history. We have only recently replaced our guns and swords with medical and economic aid. But our goal is the same...to convert other countries to our religion or our form of government.

    Christianity justified the lynching of my uncles within the last 100 years. It condoned racists, Jim Crow, and segregation by quoting verses from the Bible. It outlawed marriage between the races. It attempts to control everyone's morality based on it's interpretation of Gospel.

    How is that any different than Islam? The only difference is what side of the world you live.

    The same token, though, I do not believe our country should allow the majority to instill any religios based laws anywhere. When Muslims are the majority of a town or county, they should not be able to pass laws based on Sharia and neither should Christians based on the Bible.

    Get rid of these silly Bible belt laws against Sunday alcohol sales. Get rid of these silly laws allowing pharmacists to refuse to fill legal prescriptions for birth control.

    We are straddling a dangerous fence when we allow for ourselves that which we would not allow for others.

    My religious beliefs have no business telling you what to do in your home. Yours has no business in mine.

    The same goes for countries, too.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  92. Smoke and Mirror Politician

    Of course the Muslim community would embrace Obama because Obamas father was a muslim. What ignorant people do not understand is that Obama will say anything to please a crowd. He says one thing at one event and completely something different at another event.
    The true measure of a human being is character and standing up for your principles. Obama has no principles and thinks the Presidency is a popularity contest. Eventually it will all catch up with him. I really hope he understands that their are people in this world whose mission is to kill as many Americans as possible at any cost. I am really starting to fear another 911 with this liberal 2 faced smoke and mirror politician at the helm.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  93. Mah

    For many years, the United States has publically taken a role as a proxy for the Israel government, rather than mediating as a fair and balanced partner. This has allowed the extremist fringe in the Islamic world to present a rallying point to recruit terrorists to their cause. If we want to affect change to alter the Middle East to a more moderate style, we have to stop allowing AIPAC (israli lobbies) to direct our public policy regarding the Palestinians. Desperate people do desperate things, and we have to put hope into the Palestinian's lives just as you did for America during your campaign. Only this will stop attacks on Israel in the long run, and I think it is in Israel's best interest also to live in peace with their neighbors.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:21 pm |
  94. tj

    robert smith said: April 7th, 2009 1:18 pm ET

    The same can be said for America: when will Christian moderates take a firm stand against Christian extremists?

    im not sure where youve been for the last 8 years but we have never been attacked be "cristian extremists"...

    April 7, 2009 at 2:20 pm |
  95. B.DUB

    Of course the muslim world likes Obama,they saw how deeply he bowed to the Saudi king & saw it as a subservient act.Just reflex on his part but hey........

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  96. xande

    Jon Ansell you are an ignorant idiot that has never read the quraan
    go to hell

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  97. Asmith4626

    After reading enough of this it is plain to see the we as Americans are in two camps – radical (hawkish) and considerate (peaceful). Gee kind of sounds like the way some see Islam. To be clear – radical Islam = hawkish Americans, moderate isalm = considerate Americans. It's great to make generalizations that everyone can agree upon. Don't you think?

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  98. George

    I think President Obama knows to keep his friends close and his enemies closer.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  99. SF

    Jennifer, your "I am more afraid of radical Christians and right-wingers in this country than I am of Muslims elsewhere in the world. They do more to hurt our day-to-day lives (living, preaching fear and small-mindedness)…" is so chicken-little.

    We are a country of many many Christians and approximately 7 million muslims. Ask yourself this – who is doing the blowing-myself-up-to go-to-heaven-and-get-20-virgins"

    I'll take small minded sermons and day over the hateful even smaller minded, "kill Jew" propaganda that muslim leaders preach, and you would, and will one day soon, when Sharia and jihad are at your doorstep

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  100. Peter

    Obama is smart to pinpoint the enemy as "al Qaeda", instead of lumping together all Muslims as was done too often in the past.

    But look at this board. There are some who still think Muslims=terrorists.

    Can't these people get it through their thick skulls the difference between radical organizations like "al Qaeda" and all Muslims? I mean, does the radical Jewish Defense League represent all Jews?

    Ridiculous stupidity on this board.

    April 7, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6